OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
Following the Democrat-run House of Representatives’ failure to extend the moratorium on evictions in the United States, Joe Biden walked back his earlier claim that he lacked the authority to extend the moratorium unanimously.
And now, a federal judge is considering the legality of his order.
Despite his lack of constitutional authority, Biden caved to progressives and extended the moratorium knowing full well that it would not pass muster if brought to the courts.
On Monday, a federal judge rose up to challenge the Biden administration’s order, suggesting that it is engaging in legal “gamesmanship” to resurrect a pandemic-related eviction ban despite indications from the Supreme Court that the measure, enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an emergency health measure, was unlawful.
U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich made her remarks during a hearing on a request by real-estate brokers and landlords to block the Biden policy, which was rolled out by the CDC last week.
Due to a lack of congressional support, Biden allowed the previous eviction moratorium, which was first enacted during the height of the pandemic last year by former president Trump, to lapse at the end of July.
However, last Tuesday, Biden revived the restrictions due to intense pressure from activists and progressive lawmakers in the Democratic party.
“Given that this order is almost identical to the CDC’s earlier order, as to the effect of it, it’s really hard … to conclude that there’s not a degree of gamesmanship going on,” Friedrich said.
Arguing his case for the landlords and real estate brokers, Brett Shumate, a lawyer for Alabama and Georgia Realtors is challenging the eviction moratorium.
Shumate told the judge that Biden’s renewal of the ban last week amounted to an effort by the presidential administration to defy rulings from federal courts, including the Supreme Court.
The new moratorium is expected to expire on October 3., and applies to areas with high levels of COVID-19 transmission, constituting around 80 percent of counties nationwide.
“The court should not tolerate the government getting away with it,” Shumate said.
Despite his arguments, the federal judge expressed skepticism that an opinion from Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in addition to the votes of other Supreme Court Justices in an emergency ruling issued in July was the equivalent of definitive guidance on how to handle the Biden administration’s reissuing of the moratorium.
According to Politico, Friedrich ruled in May that the earlier version of the moratorium exceeded the authority of the CDC, but agreed to stay her ruling while awaiting an appeal from the Biden administration.
On June 29, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to decline the Realtors’ request to have her ruling take effect and block the moratorium.
At the hearing Monday, Friedrich — an appointee of former President Donald Trump — noted that while Kavanaugh indicated he was inclined to block any extension of the previous ban beyond July 31, the four justices who voted to block the eviction moratorium never explained their positions.
“None of those justices gave their reasoning, so we don’t know exactly what they thought,” Friedrich said.
Arguing its case for the Biden administration, Justice Department attorney Brian Netter warned that the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has instructed judges to refrain from engaging in that sort of math when interpreting the opinions of the Supreme Court.
“We don’t yet know how the Supreme Court will weigh in,” Netter said.
Shumate responded by recounting the White House’s public comments dating the Supreme Courts June 29 decision foreclosed the option of the executive branch unanimously extending the ban.
The Biden administration cited the Supreme Court’s decision when it let the original ban imposed by the CDC in September lapse on July 31 and urged Congress to pass legislation extending it. White House officials repeated that explanation for days, with senior adviser Gene Sperling telling reporters that the administration had “double, triple, quadruple checked” its options but that the CDC could not find the legal authority.
Even after the administration reversed course under intense pressure from outraged Democrats, Biden himself cast doubt on the ban’s legality, saying “any call for a moratorium based on the Supreme Court’s recent decision is likely to face obstacles.”
The Biden administration is now arguing that the recent surge in Delta variant cases has prompted a change in circumstance since the Supreme Court made its decision on June 29.
“We’re here today because of the Delta variant because cases have increased seven-fold since the end of June” when the Supreme Court made its opinion, Netter said. “We’re in a new chapter of this pandemic.”
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com